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Clothes Dictionary 

Copyrighted 1901 
By Cahn, Wampold & Co 


The Gist-of-Things Library Vol. II 


Quickly stated definitions gleaned from 
technical dictionaries and other books, 
and that current trade lingo that no 
book has yet set forth. 

V'i oJ^Ji-n^ . tJ . "Ki 



CHICAGO, ILL., U.S.A., 190 





71. ih^ 



'T'HE first thing that a 

business man should 
know, is — the little things of his 

There is nothing scholarly in 
this book of short easy helps 
to that which every clothing 
maker, buyer, seller and handler 
should know, but nine times 
out of ten does not know. 

This is only a book intended 
for quick reference rather than 
thoroughness; it is not even 
complete; but, such as it is, 
the compilation is reliable. Go 
to the encyclopedia for 
exhaustiveness: weVe 
accomplished a great deal if this 
sends you to the encyclopedia. 
Not one of us knows as much 
as we might upon the familiar 
aspects of our trade. 

The Editor. 

[ 3 ] 


Acid Test — A general term employed to 
designate a means of determining the 
quality of anything, fabrics for instance ; 
as boiling a piece of suspected cloth in 
a solution of potash, in which the wool 
or silk is consumed, but any cotton 
therein remains ; testing the color of 
indigo with a mixture of acetic and 
sulphuric acids ; etc. For more 
exhaustive explanations see any good 

Agraffe — An ornamental clasp, loop or 

Albert — See Prince Albert. 

Albert Cloth — Reversible all-wool 

materials, each side of different colors, 
and so finished that no lining is 
required ; used chiefly for overcoats ; 
better known as "golf cloth," "plaid-back 
coverts," etc. 

Alizarine — An absolutely fast color dye 
substance, formerly obtained from 
madder root, but now in large quantities 
from anthracene, a coal-tar product. 

Alpaca — A thin, glistening, double-fold 
fabric, with a fine cotton warp ; made 
from the curly hair of an animal of the 
camel tribe, found in South America. 

Armure — A cloth woven in miniature 
imitation of feudal metal armor plates, 

[ 5 ] 


heraldic devices, diamonds, birdseye and 
seeded effects. 
Astrakhan — A woolen or silk material 
with a long and closely curled pile in 
imitation of the fur. 


Backed Cloth — Worsteds or other fabrics 
which are woven with an extra layer of 
warp or filling underneath the face 
fabric, usually for increased weight and 

Backshop — A tailor's workshop. 

Bannockburn — A sort of tweed. 

Barrackan — In Mediterranean countries a 
camel's-hair cloth for men's wear ; in 
England a sort of moleskin. Also 
spelled barragon. 

Basket Weave — Cloth woven in imitation 
of basket work. 

Bastard — Any fabric woven in imitation 
of better and more expensive. 

Bath Robe — A long gown for wear 
between bath room and dressing room. 

Batting — Cotton or wool prepared in sheets 
for quilting or interlining ; see padding, 

Beaver — Similar to Kersey, but with 
longer nap ; soft, thick nap inside. 

Beau — A man devoted to the care and 
adornment of his person and to matters 
of social etiquette ; a dandy ; a fop. 

[ 6 ] 


Beaverteen — A sort of heavy cotton terry 

cloth used for men's hunting garments. 
Bedford Cord — A close-woven woolen 

cloth, having a raised corded surface, 

similar to pique. 
Belt — A strap or band worn around the 

Belt Straps — Loops or straps sewn at 

intervals around the waist of trousers, 

for the insertion and the holding in 

place of a belt, the object being to 

dispense with suspenders. 
Bias — Diagonally. 
Bishop — Trade term for extra length 

overcoats for tall men. 
Blazer — A light summer coat, most 

frequently of flannel and in bright 

Blind-Eye — A practically indistinguishable 

loop, hand made of thread. 
Blood — A gallant. 
Blouse — A sort of loose overshirt or 

Body Coat — A dress coat ; a close-fitting 

coat ; a livery coat. 
Boucle — A loosely woven fabric with a 

curly hair surface, frequently made with 

jersey or stockinet body. 
Bourette — An effect of weaving produced 

by fancy yarns showing in lumps at 

intervals over the face of the cloth. 
Bournous — A long woolen cloak, with 

hood, worn by men in the Orient. 

[ 7 ] 


BowLEGGED — Parenthetical. 

BoxcLOTH — Similar to Pilot cloth, thick 

and fulled, with Kersey face. 
Box Coat — A short, loose-fitting topcoat; 

coachman's driving coat. 
Braid — A narrow band or tape made of 

plaited silk, wool or cotton ; of various 

Brandenburgs — Long, narrow, ornamental 

buttons, of silk or wool, on a wooden 

mold ; used chiefly on military overcoats. 
Breeches — Knee trousers. 
Brilliantine — See Mohair. 
Broadcloth — A very fine woolen cloth 

with a glossy finished surface, the better 

grades being made with a twilled back. 
Broadfalls — See "front falls." 
Buck — A dandy. 
Buckle — A fastening device. 
Buckram — A coarse, heavy, plain-woven 

linen or cotton material used for 

Buckskin — A stout doeskin with a more 

defined twill. 
Bushelman — A tailor or workman who 

does alteration and repair work. 
Butternut — The coarse brown homespun 

cloths and jeans woven prior to the 

civil war. Colored brown with dye 

from the butternut tree. 
Button — A catch of various forms and 

materials for fastening the various parts 

of a garment. See encyclopedia. 

[ 8 ] 


Camelshair — An extremely soft and silky 
fabric usually woven like cheviot. 

Canonicals — Clergymen's official clothing, 
as prescribed by canon. 

Canton Flannel — A stout twilled cotton 
cloth with a nap on one or both sides. 

Canvas — A heavy linen or cotton cloth of 
plain weave. 

Cape — Circular covering for the shoulders ; 
the inside yoke of a coat. 

Cape Coat — An overcoat with a cape and 
with or without sleeves. See Inverness. 

Cardigan Jacket — A close fitting ribbed 
woolen or worsted body jacket, with or 
without sleeves. 

Card — To comb out or dress. 

Carding — The process of opening up the 
fibre of wool, flax, hemp, silk, etc., for 
the purpose of cleaning them of foreign 
matter and rendering the material fine 
and soft preparatory to spinning it into 

Cassimere — A general term for all-wool 
fabrics woven either plain or twilled, 
coarse or fine, of "woolen" yarn. The 
pattern is always woven in plain and 
distinct, and the cloth is never napped. 

Cassock — A long clerical coat ; a military 

Castor Beaver — A heavy, milled, 


face-finished, all-wool cloth, a little 

lighter in weight than ordinary beaver. 
Check — A small plaid design made by 

different colors, crossing at right angles. 
Chesterfield — A single-breasted, fly-front 

overcoat, of medium length, plain back ; 

also a cutaway frock coat for stout men, 

with four buttons, the top one only used. 
Cheviot — A twill-woven, rough-finished 

woolen fabric. 
Chevron — In weaving, a pattern 

characterized by zigzag lines or stripes ; 

Chinchilla — A thick, heavy, double 

woven fabric, with a long napped surface 

"Curled up into little tufts in imitation of 

Chinchilla fur. 
Chin-Latch — A small placket for closing 

the aperture of a turned-up coat collar. 
Clan Tartan — The plaids of the various 

highland clans of Scotland. 
Clawhammer — See full dress. 
Clay — A name given to serges, worsteds 

and diagonals woven after the process of 

J. & B. Clay, of Huddersfield, England. 
Clerk — An absolutely impeccable 

Clothier — One who sells ready-to-wear 

Coat — The principal garment of men's 

Coating — Those woolen and worsted 

fabrics most particularly adapted to 


men's dress and overcoats. 

Collar — The neckband of a coat ; a 
detachable linen neckpiece, etc. 

Color Test — General term for the various 
means of determining the purity or 
fastness of colors, which may be by 
means of exposure, washing, chemical 
processes, etc. See encyclopedia. 

Combing — The process of arranging the 
fibers of wool, mohair, silk, cotton, etc., 
into a parallel condition and of equal 
length, preparatory to spinning into a 
smooth, even and regular yarn ; the 
perfected application of the carding 

Cope — An ecclesiastical vestment of silk 
or brocade. 

Corduroy — A thick cotton pile material, 
corded or ribbed on the surface. 

Corkscrew Worsted — So called from its 
fancied resemblance to the twists of the 

Cotton Test — See Acid Test. There are 
also microscopic and other tests. See 

Cotton Worsted — All cotton or part 
cotton worsted-wove cloth. 

CoTTONADE — Stout cotton cloth in imitation 
of woolen or worsted trousering. 

Count — In spinning, the number given to 
any thread or yarn (except silk) to 
indicate its relative fineness, based on 
the number of yards required to weigh 


one pound. 
Counting Glass — A magnifying glass with 

an aperture of defined size, which is a 

multiple for counting the number of 

threads to the inch or other unit. 
Covert — A twill-woven woolen cloth, 

sometimes with fulled face, sometimes 

sheared to imitate whipcord ; 

a short top coat. 
CowES Coat — See Dinner Jacket. 
Coxcomb — A pretentious, conceited dandy. 
Crape — See Crepe. 
Crape Cloth — A stout worsted fabric with 

surface in imitation of silk crepe ; most 

used for dress coats. 
Crash — A strong, coarse linen cloth. ' 
Cravat — A necktie or scarf. 
Cravenette — Cloths treated and finished 

before weaving by an improved process 

which renders them rainproof — a secret 

process owned by the Cravenette 

Company and B, Priestley & Co. of 

England and United States. 
Crepe — A light weight silk, silk-and-wool, 

or all-wool cloth of slightly irregular 

Crotch — Juncture of the two halves of a 

Crowsfeet — A three-pointed embroidery 

stitch, sometimes used in finishing 

Cummerbund — A broad sash. 
Cutaway (Frock) — A single-breasted coat 


with Prince Albert back, the skirts of 
which are cut away in front from waist 
line to bottom of skirts behind. 
Cutter — In tailoring, a designer of 
garments. See Designer. 


Damier — Large, square checks. 
Dandy — A beau ; not quite a dude. 
Deltoid Muscle — The pons asinonim of 

Designer — One who conceives and makes 

patterns for garments. See Cutter. 
Diagonal — A worsted cloth with prominent 

diagonal ridges. 
Dinner Jacket — An informal dres5 coat 

without tails, somewhat like a sack, for 

dinner wear, men's evening parties, but 

not where ladies are present, as at balls, 

operas, etc. Also called Cowes Coat 

and Tuxedo. 
Doeskin — A compact twilled woolen, soft 

and pliable. 
Dog-Rabbiting — See Piecing-out. 
Double Cloth — Two single cloths woven 

in one structure. 
Doublet — A sort of jacket; 15th to 17th 

Drap — French word for cloth ; seldom 

applied to cotton fabrics. 
Drap d'Alma — A fine, close, flat-ribbed 


twilled fabric of wool, or silk and wool, 

finished on but one side. 
Drap d'Ete — A fine, light worsted fabric, 

woven in longitudinal cords. 
Draper — A dealer in cloths ; also a 

clothier, haberdasher or dry goods 

Drawers — Undertrousers. 
Dress — Indicating the manner in which a 

man disposes himself in his trousers ; 

as right and left dress. 
Dress Coat — See Full Dress, 
Drilling — General term for various 

twilled cotton stuffs used for lining. 

Sometimes called "drill." 
Driving Coat — A coat designed for 

protection or "style" when driving. 

A "duster." 
Duck — A sort of fine, firm canvas. 
Dude — Indescribable. 
Duster — A light overcoat of linen, mohair 

or other thin fabric, once extensively 

worn when traveling or driving. 
Dyeing — The art and operation of coloring 

textile fabrics by immersion in a 

properly prepared bath ; dyes are chiefly 

vegetable or aniline. See encyclopedia. 


Ell — I % yards. 

Elvsian — Overcoat cloth something like 


but rougher than Chinchilla, straight 

Epaulettes — Shoulder-straps. 
EsTAMENE — Similar to Serge, but having a 

rough, nappy face resembling cheviot. 
Etamine — A light woolen cloth similar to 

Batiste and Nun's Cloth. 
Eton Jacket — A scant sack coat worn by 

students at Eton. 
Evening Dress — See Full Dress. 

Faille Francaise — A soft, lustrous silk 

fabric of wider cord than grosgrain, but 

narrower than ottoman. 
Farmer Satin — A lining of cotton chain 

and wool filling, finished with high 

lustre. Also called Italian cloth. 
Fast Color — Applied to colors supposed 

not to fade in washing or through 

Fearnought — A heavy filled woolen fabric 

used for sailors' overcoats and clothing ; 

sometimes called dreadnought. 
Fell — To turn in a seam. 
Felt — A cloth of wool, hair, fur, etc., not 

woven, but matted together. 
Filibeg — The Highland kilt. 
Filling — The woof or weft threads of a 

woven fabric. 
Flannel — A soft, light-weight woolen 

[ '5 ] 


fabric of which the yarn is but slightly 

Flannelette — A half-cotton or all-cotton 

flannel-like fabric. 
Flap — A limber hanging part. 
Flap Pad — See pad and looney. 
Flat Bound — Bound with flat braid. 
Flock — Finely powdered woolen waste 

used in finishing cheap woolens. 
Fly — The front opening of a coat or 

trousers, so made that the buttons do not 

show through the outer face. 
Fop — Cross between dandy and dude. 
French Back — A false back worn to a 

worsted-face fabric. 
French Facing — The inside facing of a 

coat, extending around the armholes. 
French Seams — First sewed out the wrong 

way and then turned in the right way 
Frieze — A thick, shaggy, heavy nap woolen 

overcoat cloth. 
Frock Coat — Properly the Prince Albert 

coat ; also the cutaway. 
Frog — Ornamental braided loop-and-button. 
Front Falls — Trousers, not made with a 

single fly opening, but with a wide front 

flap, buttoning on both sides. 
Full Box — Trade term for a very loose 

effect in overcoats. 
Full-Dress — Black "claw-hammer" coat, 

low cut vest and trousers to match. 
Fulled — Made thicker and more compact 

by shrinking. 

[ «6 ] 


Fur Beaver — A long-napped cloth 
imitating fur. 


Gigging — Giving a nap to woolen cloths, 

such as broadcloth, beaver, chinchilla, 

melton, etc. 
Golf Coat — A red flannel coat for golf 

playing, single breasted sack style. 
Goose — A tailor's iron. 
Gore — A triangular piece of cloth let into 

a garment ; a gusset. 
Great Coat — A heavy overcoat. 
Grosgrain — A close-woven, finely ribbed 

or corded silk fabric with but little 

Guaranteed — See Warranted Clothing. 
Guernsey — A close-fitting knitted woolen 

Gusset — See gore. 


Haberdasher — A dealer in men's 

Haircloth — A lining woven of horsehair 

for weft with cotton or linen warp. 
Hairline — Very fine lines. 
Havelock — The light covering, worn by 

soldiers and tourists in hot countries. 


hanging from a cap, behind the neck. 
Halflined — Term applied to garments 

only partially lined and partially 

Hand-padded — Term referring to under- 

collars, lapels and inside wadding worked 

by hand instead of by machine. 
Herringbone — A fishbone woven cloth. 
HiGH-RisE — Term applied to trousers cut 

high in the waist. 
Hip Boots — Boots reaching to the hips. 
Holland — A fine, stout, plain-woven 

unbleached linen cloth, used for linings, 

Homespun — Cloth woven at home on 

hand-looms, or cloth made in imitation 

of such cloth. 
HopsACKiNG — A sort of home-spun 

"in-and-out" woven fabric. 
HousE-CoAT — A fancy lounging coat. 
Hunting Coat — A short red cutaway; 



Indigo — A deep blue dye obtained from 
several plants of the genus Indigofera, 
native of India and Asia and also found 
in Africa and South America ; known 
from most remote times. 

Ingrain — Dyed in the yarn with fast 


Inseam — The inner seam of the leg of a 
pair of trousers ; sometimes also called 
the "crotch seam" ; the forearm of the 

Interlining — Placed between the outer 
fabric and lining for purpose of shape, 
warmth, etc. 

Inverness — A long, loose overcoat with 
cape, without sleeves, for full dress wear. 

Irish Linen — Full bleached, fine, plain 
woven linen, used for shirts, collars and 
cuffs ; usually 36 inches wide. 

Italian Cloth — A wool or wool and cotton 
lining material, satin finished face. 

Ivory Nut — The seed of a Venezuela 
palm ; when dry is very hard and 
resembles finest natural ivory in color 
and texture ; made into buttons, etc. 


Jacket — A short coat, usually not 

extending to the knees. , 
Jean — A twilled undressed cloth with 

cotton warp and wool filling or 

sometimes all cotton. 
Jerkin — A sort of waist-coat. 
Jersey — Woolen stockinet ; a sort of 

Jobber — One who purchases merchandise 

in large lots and resells in smaller. 

[ 19 ] 


Job Lot — Term applied to odd lots of 

merchandise set apart for sale at a 

reduced price. 
Join-Up — The process of sewing the two 

halves of the coat or trousers together. 
Jour — Workshop abbreviation for 

journeyman ; q. v. 
Journeyman — A graduate apprentice ; a 

working tailor. 
JouRY — A local familiar name applied to 

fellow jours. 
Jumper — A workman's loose outerjacket or 



Kaikai — A thin, cheap Japanese silk 

Kersey — A heavy, closely woven cloth 

with a smooth face and glossy finish. 
Kerseymere — A fine twilled woolen cloth 

of peculiar texture, one thread of warp 

and two of weft being always above. 
Khaki — A light yellow-brown colored cloth 

used for army service uniforms in hot 

Kilts — A plaited skirt, like a Highlander's. 
Knee Breeches — Knickerbockers. 
Knickerbocker — In weaving an effect 

produced by rough knotted yarns ; 

similar to boucle and bourette. 
Knickerbockers — Knee breeches. 


Knock-Kneed — Knees that turn inward 
and rub against each other in walking. 

Ladies-Cloth — A fine, wide flannel, 
slightly napped ; similar to broadcloth. 

Lap-Board — An oblong board, round at 
the ends, laid on the lap of the workman, 
upon which the seams and other parts of 
the garment are pressed in the process 
of making. 

Lap Seams — Seams made by overlapping 
or laying on, instead of turning in. 

Lapel — The length of a dress-coat in 
front, or from the gorge seam in front, 
down to the waist seam ; the narrow 
strip — square at the lower end and 
angular at the upper end — which is 
sewed to the front of double-breasted 
coats ; the roll or "lay-over" of the front 
of a coat. 

Lapel-Seam — The seam caused by sewing 
the back edge of the lapel strip to the 
front edge of the fore part becomes the 

Lasting — A strong, closely woven double 
twill worsted fabric, mostly used for 
buttons and shoe tops. 

Laventine — A thin silk used for sleeve 

Left-Dress — See Dress. 


Leggin — A covering for the leg like a long 

gaiter. A protector in cold or wet 

weather or out-door sports. 
Levantine — A stout twilled silk, each side 

finished equally but of different colors. 
Linen — General name for yarn spun and 

cloth woven from the fiber of flax. 
Lining — General term for materials used 

for covering the inner side of a garment 

or anything. In men's clothing usually 

silk, Italian cloth, farmer's satin, serge, 

silesia, brilliantine, etc. 
Linsey-Woolsey — A stout flannel made 

with linen warp and wool filling. 
List — Selvedge. 

Livery — The dress or uniform of servants. 
Livery Cloth — See Boxcloth. 
Logwood — The blue-black dye obtained 

from the tree of that name. 
Long Roll — Lapels pressed long and low 

instead of high. 
Longs — Trade term for ready-made 

clothing cut to fit tall, thin men, 
Looney — An oblong, flattened pad, used in 

pressing and giving form to the collar, 

lapels and shoulders of a coat. 
Lounge Suit — A sack suit. 
Lounging Robe — A long, loose house 

Low-Necked — A garment is said to be 

"low-necked" or "long-necked" when the 

gorge in front is cut low. 
Low-Shouldered — The extreme opposite 


of "high-shouldered." 
LusTERiNG — Process for giving to woolen 

cloth a smooth, glossy surface that will 

not roughen in wear. 
LusTRENE — A thin twilled cotton lining 

material ; finished with high luster in 

imitation of silk. 


Macaroni — Little better than a dude. 
Mackintosh — A long, loose overcoat of 

waterproof material ; for wear in stormy 

Maco — Egyptian cotton. 
Madder — A vegetable red dye. 
Manipulated — Term applied to fabrics 

which in weaving are mixed with some 

inferior substance, as wool and cotton, 

silk and cotton, etc. 
Marseilles — A sort of figured pique. 
Matelasse — A silk and wool or all-wool 

brocade, usually employed for waistcoats. 
Mauve — A reddish purple aniline dye. 
Melange — A French word signifying 

Melton — A stout woolen cloth, fulled, 

sheared and finished without a nap — like 

Kersey but without the gloss. 
Mercerized — A term applied to cotton 

fabrics of which the yarn is chemically 

treated and the fabric finished by a 

[ ^3 


mechanical process, obtaining the 
appearance and many of the qualities of 
silk, more or less permanent. Named 
after Mercer, discoverer of process. 

Merchant — One who buys and sells 
commercial commodities. 

Merchant Tailor — See Tailor. 

Merino — A thin woolen fabric made of the 
fine wool of the Merino sheep, generally 
used for ladies' wear, but also made into 
vestings and underclothing for men's 

Merveilleux — A twilled silk, of rather 
soft texture, used for linings. 

Mill Ends — Trade term referring to short 
lengths, seconds, damaged pieces, etc., 
that accumulate in mills and are usually 
sold at a nominal price. 

Milling — The process of fulling or 
thickening cloth. 

Misfit — The term is a terror to tailors. 

Mixture — General term for any melange 
weave or effect. 

Mocado — The mock velvet of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries ; not now 

Mode — The prevailing fashion or custom ; 
a sort of ecru or tan color. 

Mohair — A light, thin, shiny fabric of 
enormous durability ; from the wool of 
the Angora goat, found in Asia. 

Moire — The watered effect produced upon 
silk, moreen, etc. 

[ M ] 


Moleskin — A medium heavy twilled cotton 
cloth, napped inside and printed outside. 

MoMiE — French for mummy. A cloth of 
puckered or fluted appearance. 

MoN key-Jacket — A short jacket cut 
in the sack form, fitting close 
to the waist and flaring out at the 
bottom. , 

MoNTAGNAC — A heavy napped cloth, a 
portion of the nap being woolly lobs, the 
rest straight napped. 

Mosey — An under-jacket, usually made 
of baize or flannel, and worn instead of 
an undershirt, usually under the vest, 
but over the shirt in cold weather, but in 
moderate or warm weather as an outside 
garment, and is also called a "wammus." 

Moths — Pests that make business for the 
clothier and tailor, or disaster, according 
to where they work. 

MuNGo — See Shoddy. 

Muslin — A cotton fabric of various 
classes and names, all as bleached, 
unbleached, twilled, cambric, book, mull, 
longcloth, silesia and a number of 
others ; used extensively in tailoring for 
linings and interlinings. 


Nail — 2% inches. 

Nankeen — A peculiar fabric of a pale, 

^5 ] 


Where They Fail 

It is much to know fine 
clothing from poor, to be a judge 
of values, to buy with taste. But 
all this is nothing to knowing 
how to make quick sales. 

The best part of this 
knowledge is the ability to 
estimate an advertising 
proposition; some fall short, for 
instance, of realizing the 
immense value of the 
manufacturer's unequivocal 
warranty; its very broadness 
may stagger. There was a time 
when merchants held up their 
hands in horror at the 
suggestion of giving money back 
as a regular rule of business. 

It is well to remember that 
the only warranted clothing is 

[ ^6 ] 


dull orange color, woven out 
of the fibrous tissue which 
lies between the epidermis and the 
sapwood of a tree or shrub which grows 
in the East Indies and especially in 
China. The name is derived from the 
imperial city of Nankin or from the tree 
or shrub which yields the tissue. An 
imitation is made out of cotton and 
colored with aleutta. The genuine 
nankin is never more than eighteen or 
twenty inches wide, and is used generally 
for light summer trousers or for 
children's clothing. 

Nap — The woolly surface of a fabric. 

Nape — The starting point from which the 
length and the shoulder measures are 
taken for a coat. A vertebral 
protuberance located on the back central 
part of the neck at its junction with the 
thorax or trunk. 

Napier Cloth — A once-popular double-face 
cloth for women's wraps, one side wool, 
the other of hair. 

Narrow Cloth — Trade term for fabrics 
less than 29 inches wide ; wider cloths 
called broad. 

Narrow-Fall — A small flap closing the 
opening in the front of trousers, with 
two or three button holes at the top and 
corresponding buttons sewed on the 
waist-bands, to which it was buttoned. 
See Front-Falls. 

[ ^7 ] 


Narrow-Bound — Very narrow binding, 

distinguished from "medium-bound" or 

Natte — French name for basket-weave 

Neckcloth — Cravat. 
Necktie — Correctly, a narrow band to be 

tied in front. 
Neckwear — General term for all sorts of 

neck dressings. 
Needle — They are of various kinds, known 

among tailors as silk-needles, thread- 
needles, button-needles, basting-needles, 

etc., and these again are known as 

sharps, blunts, betweens, etc. 
Neglige — Easy and informal dress ; a 

summer shirt. 
Newmarket — A long, close-fitting overcoat 

cut in the style of a frock coat ; a 

Noil — Knots and short bits of wool taken 

from the long staple in combing; waste 

Norfolk Jacket — A single breasted sack 

coat having two or three box plaits in 

back, two in front and a belt of material. 

Most used for hunting and outdoor 

Notch-Collar — The distinguishing collar 

of sack coats. 
Nun's Cloth — A soft, firm, clinging 

woolen fabric, light and strong ; entire 

suit weighs but thirty-two ounces on an 





Oil-Boiled — Trade term for colors so 

treated, to insure permanence. 
Oiled Silk — The plain silk boiled in oil 

and dried, becoming translucent and 

waterproof ; largely used as a perspiration 

Oilskin — Cotton or linen prepared with oil 

to make it waterproof ; a "slicker." 
Old Man's Frock — A one-buton cutaway 

frock coat, cut rather full in front. 
Ottoman — A stout, lustrous silk fabric of 

heavier cord than faille. 
Ounce — In woolen trade refers to the 

weight of a yard of cloth. 
Outing Cloth — A sort of gingham. 
Outing Suit — A lightweight summer suit, 

usually of flannel. 
Outlet — Allowance in seams for 

increasing size of garments. 
Overalls — Loose-fitting over-trousers of 

duck, denim, etc. 
Overcoat — A coat worn over one's other 

clothes ; a top coat ; a great coat. 
Overcoating — Fabrics woven specially for 

overcoats — i. e., covert, kersey, melton, 

beaver, frieze, vicuna, whipcord, cheviot, 

chinchilla, montagnac, Shetland, elysian, 

thibet, etc. 
OvERGAiTER — A cloth covcring for the 

upper part of the foot ; "spats." 

[ 29 ] 


OvERPLAiD — Apparently a larger plaid 

woven on top of a smaller plaid or stripe 

OvERSACK — An overcoat. 
OvERSHiRT — An outer or top shirt. 
Oversleeve — Separate sleeves of almost 

any material worn by bookkeepers, 

clerks, etc., to protect shirt or coat 

Oxford Mixture — A black-and-white 

mixed effect of varying shades of 


Pad — A flat, compact cushion or mattress- 
shaped implement laid upon the 
lap-board or any other press-board 
and used in "pressing-off" and giving 
form and finish to a garment. Its 
elasticity accommodates it to any 
inequalities of the garment and therefore 
the whole surface is reached by the 
pressure of the iron and made smoother 
and solider than it could be without 
its use. See looney. 

Padding — Felt, cotton or wool used for 
giving shape to garments. 

Paddock — A rather long, slightly form- 
fitting overcoat, somewhat similar to 
the Newmarket. 

Pajamas — Loose trousers and blouse of 

[ 30 ] 


thin material, worn for sleeping or 

Paletot — A long, loose overcoat. 
Paneled Back — The inside back of a 

coat made with broad facings of the 

goods around seams and edges, and 

filled in with (panels of) silk or other 

Pantaloons — Tight-fitting trousers 

buttoned at the ankles. 
Panting — Cloth suitable for trousers. 
Paring-Off — The process of paring-off 

the surplus cloth along the margin of 

a garment, when the edges are made 

Paring-Shears — Shears or scissors made 

expressly for paring the edges of 

Paste — Formerly used to stiffen coats, 

but now entirely obsolete. 
Patch Pockets — Pockets made wholly 

on the outside of a garment. 
Patent Beaver — Similar to Castor 

Beaver with more of a cloth finish. 
Pea Jacket — A short coat of thick 

closely woven cloth, worn in rough 

Peau de Soie — Heavy, soft finished, plain 

colored silk, woven in very fine ribs. 
Peddler — A peripatetic merchant. 
Pegtop — Trousers cut wide and full 

around the hips and narrowing sharply 

down to the ankle. 

[ 31 ] 


Pepper-and-Salt — A black-and-white or 
grayish mixture, effected in weaving. 

Percaline — A fine light-weight cotton 
lining material. 

Perching — Examining and correcting 
raw woolen cloth for and of knots, burs, 
holes and other imperfections before 

Petersham — A heavy woolen, woven or 
felted kind of cloth for overcoating. 
It has a rough, knotty surface, and is 
sometimes called "nigger-head." A 
very heavy, close-felted kind of this 
cloth is also called "cordington" ; the 
finer, softer kinds "chinchilla." 

Pick — The number of threads within a 
given space. 

PiEciNG-OuT — The act of sewing together 
the pieces, which sometimes occur in 
the facings of garments, is called 
"piecing them out." "Dograbbiting." 

PiGEON-ToED — The toes inclining or 
pointing inward. 

Pilot Cloth — A medium heavy, smooth, 
blue cloth similar to Kersey or Beaver, 
minus the nap. 

Pink Coat — English name for red hunting 
and golf coats. 

Pin Check — A very fine small check. 

Pin Rib — A very delicate rib or cord. 

Piping — A covered cord for trimming, 
applied along edges and seams. 

Pique — A heavy cotton fabric having a 

[ 3^ ] 


surface that is corded or having a 

raised lozenge pattern. 
Plaid — Colored bars or stripes crossing 

each other at right angles ; a tartan, a 

Plait — A flattened fold or gather. 
Ply — A fold or thickness. 
P. M. — Premium money given clerks for 

disposing of slow-selling goods. 
Pockets — Things to carry things in. 
Pongee — A homewoven plain silk. 
Popinjay — A chattering coxcomb. 
Pricked Edges — Backstitched by hand so 

that no seam is apparent. 
Prince Albert — A double-breasted, frock 

coat, cut form-fitting. 
Prunella — Lasting cloth. 
Puttee — A legging that looks like a 

surgical bandage. 


Quadrille — Small squares or checks ; 

shepherd checks. 
Quilted Lining — A layer of cotton batting 

faced on one or both sides with silk, 

satin or other cloth, and sewed together 

or quilted in fancy patterns. 

[ 33 I 



Raglan — A loose overcoat, the sleeves of 
which are continued over the shoulders 
up to the collar. Named after Lord 
Raglan, who devised a similar garment 
for the protection of his soldiers 
during the Crimean war, the idea being 
to increase their fighting efficiency by 
the greater freedom of action afforded 
by the peculiar shoulder. 

Rain Coat — A mackintosh or waterproof 

Raw Edges — Open edges of the goods ; 
not turned in. 

Raw Seams — See Raw Edges. 

Raye — French textile term for pattern of 
delicate stripes or narrow lines. 

Redingote — A double breasted outside 
coat with long plain skirts ; a French 
corruption of the English riding coat. 

Reefer — A short round coat or jacket. 

Regular — Clothing trade term for normal 
or standard sizes, from which longs, 
stouts, slims, etc., are variations. 

Repellent — A sort of waterproof cloth 
of wool, wool-and-cotton or all cotton. 

Rever — A turned back lapel or cuff. 

RiGBY Cloth — A sort of waterproof cloth, 
chemically treated. 

Right Dress — See Dress. 

Roll Collar — A plain collar without 

[ 34 1 


peak or notch ; a show collar. 

Roundabout — A short jacket reaching to 
the waist. 

Rowing Shirt — A low-necked shirt with 
very large deep armholes. 

Rubber Cloth — Usually cotton sheeting 
or drilling with a coating of rubber 
on one side ; used for mackintoshes and 
sometimes for interlining ulsters. 

Rug — A traveling shawl or blanket. 

Sabretache — A leather pocket hung from 

the left side of the sword hilt ; a 

popinjay ornament. 
Sack — A business coat with pockets, 

made single and double breasted ; a 

loose Chesterfield overcoat. 
Saddle Seams — Sewn as saddlers sew 

Salesman — Masculine of saleslady. 
Sash — A waist-scarf. 
Sateen — A close twilled cotton fabric, 

soft and glossy ; used for linings, etc. 
Satin — A silk fabric having a very high 

luster on its face. 
Satin Rhadame — A lustrous silk satin, 

the face crossed and broken by fine 

twilled lines, extending diagonally 

across the web. 
Satinet — A cheap clothing material 



similar to cassimere, made with a 

cotton warp and a filling of short, 

inferior or shoddy wool, which is mixed 

with enough long wool to enable it to 

be spun and woven in a way to bring 

the filling to the surface of the cloth ; 

afterwards fulled, sheared and the 

pattern printed on the face. 
Scarf — A cravat. 
ScHAPPE — Silk fabrics woven of waste 

and damaged cocoons. 
Schooner Pants — Spring bottoms, after 

the sailor style. 
Scotch Mixtures — Hard to describe ; if 

you don't know ask a woolen house 

for samples. 
ScYE — The arm hole of a garment. 
Seams — That part of the fabric used in 

sewing together. 
Selvedge — The web edge of cloth ; list. 
Serge — A fine diagonal twilled worsted — 

both all-worsted and with a worsted 

warp and "woolen" filling. 
Serge — A lining of cotton or linen warp 

and wool or mohair filling, woven 

three-leaf twill. 
Shawl — A square cloth wrap. 
Shawl Collar — A rounding collar 

without notches ; see roll-collar. 
Shepherd Check — Tiny checks, usually 

black and white. 
Shetlands— Very shaggy overcoating, 

named from the Shetland pony, the coat 

[ 36 ] 


of which it is supposed to imitate in 

Shirtwaist — A test of masculine 

fortitude during the summer of 1901. 
Shoddy — Waste thrown off in spinning; 

shredded rags and bits of cloth to be 

manipulated into new cloth ; a cheap 

inferior cloth. 
Shooting Coat — A sack coat of corduroy, 

duck, etc., with capacious pockets, 

used by sportsmen. 
Shooting Jacket — See shooting coat. 
Shop — Store. 
Short Stout — Trade term for garments 

built for short, stout people. 
Shrink — To contract or take up all loss 

of length ; to sponge. 
Shroud — The last garment we wear. 
Sicilian — A plain-woven mohair fabric ; 

see Brilliantine ; Mohair. 
Silesia — A light close-woven fine-twilled 

cotton lining fabric. 
Singe — To remove the warp from textile 

fabrics by fire or heat. 
Sizes — Trade term for an assortment or 

a range of sizes and shapes. 
Skating Jacket — A short snug-fitting coat. 
Skeleton — Term applied to a coat 

made without lining. 
Skirt — The lower or hanging part of a 

Slims — Trade term for garments designed 

for slim people. 

[ 37 ] 


Small Falls — See narrow-falls and 

front tails. 
Smalls — Close fitting knee breeches. 
Smoking Jacket — A fancy coat for 

house (smoking) wear. 
Sock — Much less euphonious than hose, 
Soft Roll — Lapel or front of coat made 

without stiffening and lightly pressed 

into a long roll. 
Spatterdash — A sort of overgaiter or 

Spencer — A very short overcoat not 

fully covering the undercoat. 
Spiff — Premium or bonus. 
Splay-Footed — Toes turning outward. 
Sponge— To dampen for ironing, pressing 

or cleaning or preparatory to cutting; 

to shrink. 
Stable Suit — A stable uniform. 
Staple — The fibre of any material, as 

long or short, staple, wool or cotton. 
Stays — Corsets. 

Stock — A twice around the neck dressing. 
Stockinet — A plain, elastic texture 

made on a knitting frame. 
Stocking — Hose. 
Storm Coat — A rain-proof coat ; 

mackintosh, ulster. 
Stouts — Trade term for garments made 

for stout persons. 
Strap Seams — Seams with a strip of 

cloth laid over. 
Surah Silk — Twilled similar to woolen 

[ 38 ] 


SuRTOUT — An overcoat cut in the style 

of a frock coat. 
Swallowtail — See Full Dress. 
Swap — Lost customer. 
Sweater — A tight-fitting, ribbed, knitted 

jacket or skirt. 
Swell — A supposedly ultra-fashionable 


Tailor — One who makes clothes. 
Tailor-to-the-Trade — A manufacturer 

who makes clothes on mail orders. 
Tartan — A Scotch plaid. 
Tests — Process for determining quality, 

strength, color, etc. 
Tete de Negre — "Niggerhead." 
Thibet — More elastic and softer than 

Melton, not so nappy as Cheviot, 

unfinished look. 
Topcoat — A light overcoat. 
Tricot — A double-twill cloth, having 

both a warp and a filling effect. 
Trousers — Garments for the lower 

limbs ; widely, but erroneously, known 

as "pants." 
Trunk Hose — Knee tights ; swimming 

Tuck — A flat fold in a fabric ; your wife 

will show you the difference between 

[ 39 ] 


a tuck and a plait. 
Turn-Over — The turned in extremity 

of trouser legs and sleeves. 
Turn-Up — The bottom of trousers. 
Tuxedo — See Dinner Jacket. 
Tw^EED — An open, soft, flexible twilled 

cloth, closely spun and finely woven, 

but slightly fulled. 
Twilled — Woven in such manner as 

to produce lines or ribs diagonally or 

across the surface of the fabric. 


Ulster — A long, loose, heavy overcoat 

for rough weather wear. 
Undercoat — The body-coat. 
Undercollar — The under side of a 

collar ; usually, but not necessarily, of 

softer material. 
Unfinished Worsted — A soft dull 

finished cloth, slight nap. 
Uniform — Livery distinguishing the 

members of some military, naval or 

civil body, or employes of clubs, 

corporations, etc. 
Uniform Cloth — Cloth suitable for 

uniforms ; usually a stout fulled woolen 

cloth, similar to Kersey. 
Union Cassimere — Of a quality with 

satinet, but with a woven instead of 

printed pattern. 




Velvet — A closely woven silk material 

with short thick pile on one side. 
Velveteen — Cotton velvet. 
Venetian — A cloth milled and cropped 

bare in finishing. 
Vent — An outlet ; q. v. 
Vest — See waistcoat. 
Vestment — An ecclesiastical garment. 
Vicuna — A soft twilled cloth similar 

to Cheviot, made of the wool of the 

Andes vicugna. 


Wadding — The tailor's expedient for 
making a lanky customer look well in 
the eyes of his girl and fellow 
creatures ; see Padding. 

Waistcoat — Vulgarly a "vest." 

Wale — A ridge or streak rising above 
surface of cloth, running entire length 
or width. 

Walking Coat — A compromise between 
a single breasted sack and a cutaway 
frock, more nearly resembling the 
latter, but shorter and with pocket 
flaps on hips. 

Wammus — A sort of Cardigan jacket, 

[ 41 ] 


a mosey ; also spelled wamuss. 
Warp — The threads which are extended 

lengthwise in the loom and crossed 

by the filling or weft ; sometimes called 

the chain or end. 
Warranted Clothing — Only made by 

Cahn, Wampold & Co. 
Waterproof — A textile so treated, by 

rubber or chemicals or otherwise, 

that it repels instead of absorbing 

water. See Cravenette. 
Weft — The woof or filling of a fabric ; 

the threads that cross the warp from 

selvage to selvage. 
Wellingtons — Boots, covering the knee 

but cut away behind. 
Welt Seams — See lap seams. 
WkiPCORD — A worsted cloth having a 

small prominent twill. 
WiGAN — A very stiff, open, canvas 

interlining used for giving shape to 

Woof — The threads that cross the warp 

in weaving ; the weft ; filling. 
Woolens — Name of fabrics of carded 

wool ; usually soft woven. 
Worsteds — Name of fabrics of combed 

wool ; usually hard woven. 

[ 41 ] 


X Y 

Yacht Cloth — A flannel heavier than 
ordinary flannel or serge, price dyed. 

Yarn — Thread for knitting or weaving. 

Yoke — A band or cross piece to which 
other parts of garment are attached. 

Yoke Coat — A coat with a yoke. 

Zouave Jacket — A short jacket reaching 
about to the waist, and cutaway in 

t 43 ] 

This being incomplete the Editor is desirous 
of hearing from those who know of other 
definitions overlooked, or of errors in this 

Some credit is due to "Cole's Dictionary of 
Dry Goods," some to "The American Tailor 
and Cutter," some to Mrs. Alice Morse Earle, 
et al, but most largely to the people in the store 
and in the work shop — the people who make and 
use the lingo. 

The Editor. 





Consists of a series of brief booklets on 
clothes making, clothes knowledge and 
clothes selling, of which this is the 
second issue, the same preceded by 
/. Warranted Clothing 

A new edition of a little book of which 
we have already distributed over 20,000 
copies; contains much new matter. 

And these will be followed by 

///. Advertising Phrases 

By William Henry Baker, manager of 
our advertising department. 
Reprinted from Chat^ with various 
additions^ and properly classified. 

IF. Sartor Historicus 

Historical matter from Chat and other 
publications, illustrated. 

V. Good Things from Chat 

A republication of some of the best 
original and reprint matter that 
appeared in Chat from November 1900 
to October 1901. 

Other issues will be announced later 

Price 5 Cents Per Copy 
except volume i which is sent free 
One copy of each volume will be sent free of 
charge to customers, as issued. Others desiring 
them are requested to send the price. 

Cahn, Wampold & Co. 


The only warranted 
clothing — it's safe. 

This garment warranted to give satisfactory servi 

Cahn, Wampold & C< 
Makers — Chicago 

This is the label of safety.